Sitting on the Edge

Just some random thinking from today…

Somewhere along the line we went from a vivacious culture of active, individualist go-getters who believed heavily in self-reliance, self-sacrifice, and clear priorities, to a dependent, muddied-view culture of reality TV, It’s-not-my-job, let-someone-else-carry-the-load couch sitters who want someone else to pay the way.

The damage is cumulative, and the more people that sign on to that paradigm, the more likely the rest are to shrug their shoulders and join their friends on the couch.

What a small-government, liberty minded minority is advocating is hard, it’s the hard way. It requires effort, responsibility, and critical thought. Our national system does not teach that anymore. In fact, our current crop of public servants, who fancy themselves as leaders and as authority, discourage the entire mindset. They do it because it foments an attitude of reliance upon them, empowering them with more control over the lives of the citizens of this nation.

We are sick. A malignant cancer presenting itself as the shining solution ravages our national body and mind and the only final result is an unrecoverable flat line. Its insipid tendrils creep out from D.C. and they infect individuals first, and then groups, and then entire populations.

What is the cure? And are we (as a whole) willing to undergo the necessary procedure? How can that happen when a majority won’t even recognize that we are sick and dying?

These are the things I think about as my feet dangle over the bottomless canyon of despair.

Know Your Place

Where do you stand?

When speaking of children, it’s easy to get into debates with regard to how to raise them; what’s appropriate and what isn’t what is too harsh or what might be too coddling.

The following is a list of things that might seem perfectly normal depending on personal philosophy.

  • When they misbehave, you scold them.
  • When they challenge authority, you punish them.
  • When they don’t want to share, you make them share or maybe take their stuff away.
  • When they are aggressive, you shut them down, maybe even medicate them.
  • When they say what you judge to be inappropriate, you reprimand them and perhaps punish them.
  • When they play games that hurt no one but that you judge to be ‘inappropriate’ or wrong, you prohibit them from playing in that manner, or make it difficult for them to do so.
  • When they call another person names, you lecture them.
  • When they get into a fight, you punish them by restricting them.
  • When they are offensive, you censure them.
  • When they don’t want to contribute their fair share, you take their things away.
  • When they daydream, you force them to focus with drugs or therapy.
  • When they express their opinion unasked, you shush them.

One could argue that everything on that list is more or less common place when it comes the discussion regarding the teaching, control, and raising of children, right?

But look at that list again. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

What if I wasn’t talking about parents and children? What if I were talking about your relationship with the government? Does that change your perspective on that list?

Welcome to how your government sees you.

Once you see that in context, it’s very easy to add to that list, isn’t it? You could add that when you exercise basic human rights the government doesn’t like, the government does its level best to ridicule you and shame you.

You could add that when you refuse to follow government defined ‘norms’, you are shunned and your judgment is called into question.

You could also say that when you ask uncomfortable questions, you are defined as a radical and your character is impugned… the list is practically endless.

Everything has been turned upside down. The government is not our parents. The government has chosen to ignore that they are not the authority, they are simply the chosen representatives of the authority wielded by the true government, We The People; the citizens of this once-great country. The men and women who serve in government are not the authority; they are servants of the collective authority of We The People.

And they have forgotten that one, very important point.

What’s more profoundly important and disturbing is that We The People have forgotten that as well. We have. And that is a horrible thing. What once made us great, something that we have every right to be proud of; is that as Americans, we once had our hands on the yoke of our own destiny; from the individual all the way up to the entire nation; but that is gone.

We have been reduced to a divided group of bickering hens that would rather lie on the couch, eating chips out of a bag, while we watch the latest reality show or sports event. Most people would prefer to do that, than to actually stand and take a hand in steering our own course. We long ago shrugged a lazy shrug and handed our destiny over to power hungry, greedy lawyers who have more interest in their own enrichment, than they have a sense of duty to their country and their fellow man.

We have set about destroying ourselves from within; something that we were amply warned would be the case. And like so many other things we have put our hands to, we did a bang-up job of it.

But it might not be too late. There might still be time to set our course right, if enough people care. If enough people are willing to get up off of the couch and bust out of their comfort zone. If enough people have the will, and the heart, and the tenacity to take a chance on losing it all in an effort to regain what we once were, what it was once our destiny to be. We could get it all back.

It’s all lost anyway, if we don’t wake up.

The question is; will that happen? Are you willing to fight? To dedicate what the youngest and the ‘least’ among us signed up for when they volunteered to defend this country and its people from all enemies, foreign and domestic? Do you have the cajones?

Or will you gladly let others shoulder that burden while you lazily drink your craft beer you’re so proud of; and you work your way through that bag of chips as you tiredly root for the meaningless outcome of your favorite sports event?

Do you Know Your Place?

Everything Will Be Fine

Say you live in a really poor neighborhood. You are one of the very few, maybe one of three people in the neighborhood that have a good, full time job in the area where you live. You have a car and money for groceries, fuel oil and clothes. But everyone around you, all of your neighbors, don’t all have great jobs or any jobs at all. They don’t have cars and barely enough money for groceries; and that is if they can actually get to the grocery store.

You help where you can, but you aren’t rich; comfortable, but not rich. You give your neighbors a ride to work or a ride to the grocery store when you can, maybe you even give out some flour or bread or sugar to your closest, needier friends. But food and fuel is expensive, your time is limited and you need to ask them for a couple for dollars for gas in order to be able to still live the way that you do.

Some of your neighbors start to grumble and complain that it isn’t fair that you have a car and they don’t, that you have money for groceries & fuel oil and they don’t. They start to say to you that they shouldn’t have to pay for fuel for you to take them to the grocery store and what’s more, it’s unfair that you have money for more groceries than they do. They dial up the other neighbors on their cell phones and you can see them outside talking to each other as they smoke their cigarettes.

A bunch of them get together and contact the government with their complaints. In the interest of fairness, the government steps in and directs you to make your vehicle available to your neighbors at their discretion. And you must maintain and keep fuel in the vehicle at your own expense. And they don’t stop there.

The government also directs you to make your pantry open to your neighbors. It’s only fair, they tell you, since you all live in the same neighborhood and everyone will benefit. You also must allow your neighbors to siphon fuel oil from your oil tank as they need to. If you don’t do all of this, you will be fined and possibly jailed.

You resist, but your neighbors and the government both insist that you must hate children and be inherently racist because you refuse to take steps and be opening to benefiting your neighbors. Also, as badly off as your neighborhood is, there are others that are even worse off. The government directs that you must make your property and house available to people from other neighborhoods to stay if they choose to try moving to your neighborhood because you have more than all of those others do.

The government assures you everything will be fine, that they will watch over everything and regulate things so that it’s all as fair as possible. But you know that other neighborhoods they have taken over are now in ruins, corruption is rampant and the rules mean nothing; people who break them regularly are hardly ever dealt with and when they are, it’s usually a slap on the wrist.

For all intents and purposes, everything you have worked for is gone. You have no option to move away because if you do, the government will punish you and besides, there isn’t any place to go where the same thing has not or is not occurring. You are ruined, and so begins your slow descent into poverty and hopelessness.

Without the resources you worked so hard for, that you earned, you will quickly arrive at a point where you have no hope of being of any help or of coming up with any new or innovative ways to help that won’t immediately be stolen by your government in the name of regulation. When you come up with alternate solutions or alternate approaches, you are slapped down and restricted from implementing anything or it is caught in bureaucratic red tape.

And now your government has complete control over everything you do.

Welcome to Net Neutrality.